Global ecommerce accelerator Pattern has polled online shoppers in the United Arab Emirates to understand their online buyer behaviour, including how they are using marketplaces such as Amazon and Noon.
The results back up predictions of the growth in the UAE’s ecommerce market size from $10 billion in 2021, to $17 billion in 2025, according to Kearney. Overall, 74 per cent of online shoppers polled said they would spend more online shopping in 2022. Nineteen per cent expected to spend the same as in 2021, and just 6 per cent expected to spend less.
The findings are included in Pattern’s UAE Shopper Report 2022. The research also shows that marketplace Amazon and Noon have fast become favourites among the UAE’s online shoppers. More respondents expected to purchase online this year from Amazon or Noon than other online retailers for every major product category, including fashion, consumer electronics, home and kitchen and beauty.
For example, in the consumer electronics category, 61 per cent of online shoppers expect to buy from Amazon, and 42 per cent from Noon. In comparison, only 14 per cent expect to buy online from retailers with both stores and a website. This pattern is mirrored in many other categories. For home and kitchen, 60 per cent expect to buy from Amazon, 46 per cent from Noon and just 18 per cent to buy online from retailers with a store and website.
Other key findings reported in Pattern’s UAE Shopper Report include:
UAE online shoppers want fast delivery – 39 per cent of online shoppers want products delivered the next-day or quicker. 20 per cent want products delivered to them the same day they order it.
Most shoppers buy from Amazon – An overwhelming majority of 94 per cent of UAE online shoppers polled reported purchasing from at least one Amazon site in the last 12 months including 83 per cent who had bought from the marketplace’s local Amazon.ae site. One reason for Amazon’s broad customer base is likely the strong take-up of Prime membership to get fast and free delivery. 67 per cent of Amazon.ae shoppers have either their own Prime membership or access to someone else’s Prime account.
Customers are purchasing cross-border – 89 per cent of those polled stated that they had purchased a product online that was delivered from another country during 2021. This shows that local retailers and marketplace sellers could grow their sales by expanding ranges with products not yet sold locally.
Amazon customers discover new brands on the marketplace – The opportunity for consumers to discover new products and brands through Amazon is evident. 42 per cent of Amazon.ae shoppers polled, purchased a product from a brand that they had never purchased anywhere before. Pattern’s findings show that Amazon.ae is a great platform for brands to raise their profile amongst UAE’s online shoppers.
Pattern’s MENA General Manager David Quaife said on the report: “Online marketplaces are proving to be crucial channels for consumer brands to be visible in the UAE. Their popularity is set to grow further in the coming years. With shoppers looking to discover new brands and products, and both overall online spending and Prime usage forecast to increase, Amazon.ae; in particular, is a platform where consumer brands must build a strong presence if they want to grow their sales in the Middle East. If brands want to maximise their exposure and market share, they should also consider a presence on Noon as well.”